Witness’ Letters

Excerpt from Personal letters – July 1846

From Edward Jones of Richmond, Vermont, to Milo Jones, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin Territory, dated July 7, 1846, just as it was written:

 …The Irishmen on the Rail Road about Ransoms and up in Bolton have had a Row. Their employers did not pay them.  They Rose in mass took one of the Contractors and kept him in duress, dug a ditch across the Road and Stoped the stage 2 or 3 hours, make a mark across the Road and tell Teamsters not to pass on perill of their lives.  Lawyers and judges Came from Burlington to purswade them to take a different Cause, but all to no purpose.  Ransom for ten days hired a gard to protect himself and Buildings.  This State of things want to be Endured.

Two companies of militia were call out, and when the Pats see them they fled to the mountains in Bolton to save their bacon, however they succeeded in taking 9 of the leaders and they are now Confined in jail in Burlington.  The rest I understand are leaving the place as fast as possible, so you see the war is Ended and peace and quiet is Restored.  I can’t give further particulars as all this took place while I was gone and I have not seen Ransom since my Return…

Four days later, Mr. Jones wrote the following to Jabez Jones, Esquire, Westchester County, NY, dated July 11, 1846:

 ….But, recently the R.R. chaps have had a break up in some way or for some Cause they did not pay their workmen and the Pats waged a small mexican war.  Shut up one of their directors stopped Teams on the Road, forbid them to pass, dug ditches across the Road and stopped the stage two hours before they Could pass.  Their employers ought to have paid them but this state of things Could not be endured.  The militia were called out and when the Pats saw them Coming they fled to the mountains in Bolton.  They succeeded in taking 9 and confined them in jail and this week they have been trying them.  I was at Burlington Wednesday, one had been tried and Cleared.  I think they will make this state some $3000 Expense.  The Corporation ought to pay it.  The R.R. to me seems to be a rather uphill business.  Years must pass away before it is completed.